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Graphics and consumer electronics chip designer ATI announced its entrance into a technology licensing agreement with Austin, Texas-based Intrinsity, a company which develops designing tools for multi-GHz microprocessors. The Markham, Ontario-based chip designer said it was licensing Intrinsity’s Fast14 Technology for use in future consumer products.

Fast14 Technology incorporates a patented logic family and a set of proprietary design methodologies and tools that automate the creation of multi-GHz digital logic. Fast14 Technology is used in the development of Intrinsity’s award-winning FastMATH family of processors.

“We selected Intrinsity after determining that Fast14 Technology can deliver up to four times the performance per silicon dollar when compared with standard design approaches,” an ATI spokesperson said.

Fast14 Technology provides a sustainable advantage in design technology, enabling chip designers to be more productive and deliver faster circuits by automating the design of high-speed logic. Unlike desktop processors that achieve multi-GHz speeds with time-consuming and expensive handcrafted custom circuits, Fast14 Technology achieves desktop processor speeds with short design cycles and small design teams.

In case Fast14 Technology allows to develop processors with 4 times higher clock-rate compared to what ATI offers now, this may become a benefit for the company, as fast core-speeds may compensate lower number of transistors and grant ATI a benefit in product costs.

“We're combining ATI’s pioneering leadership in consumer technologies with Intrinsity's proven chip-design technology to create innovative products with stunning levels of visualization and integration,” said Bob Feldstein, vice president of Engineering, ATI Technologies.

Since ATI stresses that the technology is to be used for consumer electronics products that are not as complex as visual processing units nowadays, it is very likely that ATI’s processors for consumer electronics devices will pack more capabilities that require additional computing power while ensuring high-performance and low price in future.

Currently ATI sells various chips designed for consumer electronics, such as, PDAs, mobile phones, digital TV sets as well as some multimedia offerings.


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